Access to medicinal products

01-05-2021

There are many factors that can prevent a patient from being able to obtain the medicine they need, ranging from selective marketing decisions by companies to products being too expensive or pharmacy stock-outs. Because of national differences in health systems and market characteristics, access to medicine is not evenly distributed across the European Union. In response to observed problems with access to medicine, in 2017 the European Parliament adopted a resolution containing 58 recommendations for action to the European Commission and Member States. This In-Depth Analysis reviews the main actions taken at the Union level since then that could improve access to medicine. It also includes illustrative examples of actions taken by Member States and other actors. The analysis concludes that the Commission has proposed or taken a combination of legislative and non-legislative actions with the potential to improve access to medicine in the Union and beyond, but that it will take time for the effects of these to become clear.

There are many factors that can prevent a patient from being able to obtain the medicine they need, ranging from selective marketing decisions by companies to products being too expensive or pharmacy stock-outs. Because of national differences in health systems and market characteristics, access to medicine is not evenly distributed across the European Union. In response to observed problems with access to medicine, in 2017 the European Parliament adopted a resolution containing 58 recommendations for action to the European Commission and Member States. This In-Depth Analysis reviews the main actions taken at the Union level since then that could improve access to medicine. It also includes illustrative examples of actions taken by Member States and other actors. The analysis concludes that the Commission has proposed or taken a combination of legislative and non-legislative actions with the potential to improve access to medicine in the Union and beyond, but that it will take time for the effects of these to become clear.

Autor externo

Thyra de Jongh, Lennart Velten, Lonneke Schrijver